Of a closed park and protests

For a child, a park means everything! It is where he/she finds new friends, expresses his/her fearless passions and paints his/her thoughts on an unbound canvas. Imagine what will happen if this opportunity is taken away from a child.

Don’t take away my fun and games.

A recent story in our paper reported that Pragya, an 11-year old girl has issued a 15-day ultimatum to PM and CM Sheila Di­k­shit that if the gate to the park near her home is not opened, she will “start breaking down the wall surrounding it.”

Having written to the RWA president of her area and even Delhi Commission for Protection of Child Rights (DCPCR), the young activist has not been able to convince authorities. Speaking to Metrolife, Pragya says, “The park gate was open before but to keep a check on theft cases in the area, they closed the gate. Now we have to cross the road to enter the park through another gate or else climb a ladder near the closed gate.”

But is resorting to breaking the wall the only solution? “If they don’t take any action then we will have to do it,” says the young girl who has already tried an alternative way by organising a signature campai­gn, which wasn’t very effecti­ve. Other teenagers do share Pragya’s concern but disagree with her solution.

For instance, Smriti Krishna, a 14-year old feels that social networking sites could have been used to gather more support and pressurise authorities. “Breaking down the wall isn’t right. I agree the park is important but a drive through social media could have also created a buzz of awareness among masses.”

Beyond social support, there is also a communication angle that teens feel can resolve the issue more easily. The breakdown of communication between the young and older generation is also a probable culprit. Tarana Chowdhary, a 19-year old says, “Pragya is right in asking for the park’s gate to be opened because if God forbid, a mishap occurs when kids are crossing the road to reach the park, it is then that the elders will realise the risks involved.  I do feel that resorting to breaking the wall is not the final solution for she can talk it out with the authorities concerned about the issue.”

The notice period of 15 days is still on and what the teenagers plan to do next is eagerly awaited.

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